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Elon Musk Accuses Twitter of Fraud in Finance, Court Filing Shows -by Ecork

Elon Musk is fighting a Twitter lawsuit seeking to force him to close the deal.

San Francisco:

Elon Musk has accused Twitter of fraud, alleging that the social network lied to him about important aspects of his business before agreeing to a $44 billion purchase, as their court battle heated up.

The Tesla CEO made the claim on Thursday as he fights a Twitter lawsuit seeking to force him to close the deal, which he has tried to cancel.

Musk argued in a filing to the Delaware court that the number of users appearing in the ad on the platform is about 65 million below the number 238 of the company.

“Twitter’s disclosures have been slowly opened up, with Twitter closing the gates on information in a desperate bid to prevent the Musk Group from uncovering its fraud,” the claim said.

Musk is asking the court to release him from the contract and let Twitter pay him damages to be determined in the trial, which is scheduled to open on October 17.

Billions of dollars are at stake, but so is the future of Twitter, which Musk has said should take any legal action – a legitimate position that has sparked fears that the network could be used to violence

In its own filing, Twitter rejected the mercurial billionaire’s argument, calling it “unfair and untrue as it sounds.”

“Like Musk, he – the billionaire founder of various companies, advised by Wall Street bankers and lawyers – has been persuaded by Twitter to sign a joint contract of $ 44 billion,” said Twitter.

Musk last week filed his lawsuit, which was finally made public on Thursday, along with a legal defense against Twitter’s claim that he had a contractual obligation to terminate the acquisition agreement.

The businessman accused Twitter of not only cheating, but also lying to US market regulators.

Musk relied on Twitter’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission because he felt he was self-indulgent – digging into the company’s value – “costs and inefficiencies”, his lawsuit said.

– ‘Twitter has adapted in all respects’ –

The legal battle is gathering pace as preparations begin for a five-day trial in the Delaware Chancery Court, which specializes in complex, high-profile business world battles.

This battle stems from Musk wooing Twitter’s board with an offer of $54.20 per share in April, but then in July announcing that he was terminating their contract because the company had lied to him about the tally of fake and spam accounts .

Twitter, whose shares were up about 3.5 percent to $42.51 on Friday, was stuck by its estimates that at least five percent of the activity on the platform is due to software “bots” rather than humans.

The social media platform told the court that Musk’s claim that the number of fake accounts was higher than 10 percent was “unsubstantiated.”

Twitter also disputed Musk’s assertion that he had the right to walk away if his bot reading was found to be wrong, because he did not seek information on that topic when he made the purchase offer.

The company accused Musk of fabricating a story to escape a merger deal he no longer found attractive.

“Twitter has complied in all respects with the collective agreement,” the company said in a document filed with the Chancery Court.

“Musk’s claims, based as they are on silence, inconsistency, and outright deception, change nothing.”

The socialist platform has urged shareholders to approve the deal, setting a vote on the joint for September 13.

During field questions at Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting on Thursday, Musk was asked whether his Twitter influence could distract from the electric car company’s operations.

“I think Tesla, you know, will continue to do well even if aliens steal me, or return to my planet,” he joked, drawing laughter and applause.

“To be honest, I don’t have an easy answer,” Musk added.

He assured shareholders that, for now, he has no plans to step down from his Tesla leadership role.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an integrated feed.)

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